Every so often a significant life event comes along that is out of the ordinary and demands more from us than habitual, automatic responses we usually employ during the routine of daily life. Examples of these events can range anywhere from:
- An major illness or diagnosis of yourself or a loved one
- A divorce
- The impending death of someone close
- A conflict at work or in a community that has potential to get ugly
No matter what the event is, it’s usually out of our normal routine, emotionally charged, and demands our engagement.
In the past I use to react to these situations based on whatever emotion I was feeling at the time. Although it was easy, it never produced the outcome I wanted.
About 6 years ago I found myself in a leadership position in the middle of a large community disagreement. Sides were being taken up and I could see early that it would be getting ugly before it got better. In the midst of the rapid decline, I remember thinking to myself that although this is going to be a difficult, emotional situation, as far as for me, I want to “do this well”.
For me the standard that I use to define “well” are the principles and guidance found in scripture. With scripture as my standard, I have a benchmark to measure whether or not I am treating others with respect, understanding, and grace; whether or not I am “doing this well”.
By deciding to “do this well” early in a bad situation, I am mindful and deliberate in my choice of words and actions. I am constantly aware of keeping my emotions in check and not lashing out and saying or doing something hurtful that could have long-term relational implications well after the situation is over.
Does deciding that I want to “Do this well” mean I handle everything perfectly? Not in my case! Does it mean that people will never get upset with me? Hardly! What I strive for in these situations is for people involved to say, “I may not agree with what he said, or how he handled that, but I will say, he was respectful to me and was not out to intentionally cause harm to me or others involved.”
“He did that well.”
We are blessed to be able to choose how we respond to a situation, so why not decide to “do this well” during life’s difficult situations? Why not choose to treat people with respect, understanding, and grace?
The next time you face a challenging life situation, decide early that you’re going to do this well. Not only will you set yourself up to see the positive and hidden blessings that exist within the situation, you’ll also come out of it better equipped to handle the next challenging situation life has for you.
Do this well!